From Cujo to Precious, five tragedy-porn books and the films they inspired

Categories: Lists, Literature

1.) The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, by J.T. Leroy

For five years, the media and literature fans were all convinced that the gruesome events detailed in The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things were the true-life story of young author J.T. Leroy. Spinning the reader into a world of child rape, neglect, religious extremism and amphetamine psychosis, Deceit turned transgender ex-prostitute J.T. Leroy into a literary sensation, leaving journalists clamoring for more information, more stories of sadism and inhumanity.

Too bad Leroy didn't exist. What we all thought was the autobiography of a 21-year-old, male-born wunderkind from West Virginia was actually the fictional imaginings of 36-year-old San Franciscan Laura Albert -- all exposed in a brilliant New York Times article. While the hoax may have taken some of the sting out of the book, Deceit remains a horribly engaging read, whisking readers away into a world of juvenile torture that makes Jaycee Dugard's upbringing look tame by comparison. Like Last Exit to Brooklyn, the film adaptation of The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (by Asia Argento, daughter of famed Italian torture porn director Dario Argento) didn't hold back on the relentless misery of young Jeremiah, yet ultimately failed to convey the innocent perspective of a child enduring all this madness, an essential component when trying to rob an audience of its faith in humanity with some potent tragedy porn.

Sapphire will be reading from the new paperback edition of her novel, The Kid, at 7:30 p.m. today at the Tattered Cover Colfax, 2526 Colfax Avenue.

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Location Info


Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue

2526 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: General

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